Daniel Congdon
Edge City

Surrey Art Gallery
October 10 - January 31

Monument for an Office Plaza (1997),
mixed media

"Edge City" is an exploration into the physical and conceptual landscapes of Vancouver's eastern suburbs. The municipalities and townships of the Fraser Valley comprise numerous cultures and geographies, but their recognition has been largely absent from regional art work. Guest-curator Chistopher Brayshaw addresses these culturally-diverse landscapes through an exhibition of paintings, photographs, sculptures and video by eight male artists.

From the "psychologically-unstable landscapes" of Dwight Koss' light boxes to Scott McFarland's zoning documents juxtaposed with photos of community people and buildings; from Robert Linsley's small oil paintings of agricultural lands to Kevin Schmidt's silkscreens of those suburban "empty places" like powerline paths, intersections and vacant lots; from Arni Haraldsson's photographic series of condominium and film industry developments around the New Westminster Woodlands asylum to Warren Murfitt's plywood paintings which aesthetisize building materials; and from Ben Reeve's sequence of oil paintings depicting a drive along the King George Highway to Daniel Congdon's architectual model of an excavator-as-sculpture in an office plaza, the exhibition manages to both document successive historical transformations and deconstruct the common Vancouverite perspective on suburban homogeneity.

© Mia Johnson